The allusive Biohazard 1.5

-1996 summer,
shown the first views of screen shots at Tokyo Game Show-

It was at Tokyo Game Show in 1996, Capcom showed a short (only several 10 seconds long) video of Resident Evil 1.5. (In those days, It was Resident Evil 2)
But, it looked far away from being completed graphics. Character was only outlined and the background was just black, it was showing only part of the game atmosphere to the viewers. And from the video clip, you already see the number of zombies trying to attack the characters and you could feel new Resident Evil 2 is aimed for the user to enjoy the fighting of character VS large number of enemies. That was the first time, Capcom showed the main concept of Resident Evil 2, "The FEAR of the mass-enemy".
From the promotion documents, you can get the information that Capcom created two character for players "Leon S Kennedy, Raccoon city police officer (Looks like a little younger than real Resident Evil 2 Leon.)" and "Elza Walker, Motorcycle Racer", the person who has played Resident Evil 2 will ask "Who is Elza Walker?" in the development stage, she was planned as a "collage girl who is wearing a red racing suit, visited Raccoon city to find some person and got involved in the Raccoon city incident."

-Rejected or changed plan-

In the final version of Resident Evil 2, there is no Elza Walker, if you could got the promotional document for press released in 1996, you would see there is a animated version of Elza, but all those plans disappeared in the final version of Resident Evil 2. There were a lot of plans changed or rejected. For example, do you remember the guy Marvin that gave you a card key in the beginning of Resident Evil 2? In the first plan, He was going to survive with Leon and escape from Raccoon city. Also, there were planning to put a lot of zombies in the game and some of the rooms were packed with zombies.
I will list some changes from the old plan.
Chief's room: Located top floor in the building with big window that used to have a view to see whole Raccoon city. (Now, view is interrupted by other building.)
Weapon Storage: Located next to the parking lot. All weapons of RPD were stored.
Shooting range: A huge room with shooting booth. (Don't even have this room in final version.)
Office A: This was like front desk of RPD. (This is the first plan of the room where Marvin was.)
Office B: Office for detectives.

-Start the development all over again
from 80% completed Resident Evil 1.5

From Resident Evil 1.5, you already can see part of the final version of Resident Evil 2. But development of old Resident Evil 2 ended right before it went on sale. What happened?
Shinji Mikami the producer of Resident Evil 2 and the director of Resident Evil said because the quality of Resident Evil 1.5 was too low. "I let younger staff member to develop the game, but we had a lot of problems. Material of the game was good, so I thought if we choose the direction of those materials carefully, we can make the game good, even if it doesn't taste good in the beginning, I thought we could fix it in about 3 months. But it was not at a level where we can just add seasoning and make it OK. So, we had to start all over again."
Shinji's memory of Resident Evil 1.5 is a bitter taste. But staff member of the development made a lot of effort from this point, and finally created a big entertaining Resident Evil 2 with Hunk mode and Tofu mode.
Shinji said "The gap between 1.5 and 2 is really huge. If we released 1.5, I think the series would have ended on Resident Evil 3 with big criticized reviews in the magazines."

Column from: Research on Biohazard 2 Final Edition
Published by: Micro Design
Published date: Sep 1st 1998

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